Caramel reviews The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab

Caramel loves to read books about real things. In his first review of a nonfiction book, he told us about Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne. Here he shares his enthusiasm about another favorite: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab.
Caramel reviews The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab.

Sprinkles: Caramel, you chose a big book for your review this time, right? This is a big format book, quite heavy, too, with 160 pages!

Caramel: Yes! This is a really big book. I have to put it on the ground to read it.

S: It has lots of colorful pictures, right?

C: Yes, including a pachycephalosaurus! Did you know that a pachycephalosaurus is a bonehead?

S: What’s a bonehead?

C: These are dinosaurs that use their heads to fight. They charge each other with their heads and then they bump, crash into each other. Pachycephalosaur means “thick-headed lizard” apparently.

S: That’s weird! What else is in the book?

C: On each page there are lots of dinosaurs and other reptiles. There are crocodiles and flying reptiles. Here is one of my favorites: terrestrisuchus. But I don’t really know how to pronounce it! Anyways the book tells us:

Terrestrisuchus was smaller than Gracilisuchus (about 10 inches tall). Its body was short but its tail was twice the length of its body and head put together. It had long legs and must have sprinted over the dry landscape, snapping up insects and small lizards in its long jaws. It probably ran mostly on four legs, but could have run even faster on just its back legs, using its tail for balance.

S: So dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles came in all sorts of sizes, right? Which of the bigger dinosaurs do you like most?

C: Other than pachycephalosaurus? Velociraptors! They ran fast! And they had feathers! But they couldn’t fly, so scientists think that they used their feathers to keep warm.

S: So there were flying dinosaurs too?

C: Pteranodon flew of course! But there were also other flying reptiles. Some lizards would glide!

Caramel enjoys reading about dinosaurs in The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles.
Caramel enjoys reading about dinosaurs in The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles.

S: Dinosaurs in this book seem to be all over the world, there were different types of dinosaurs in different places, and they also lived in different times, right?

C: Yes. Scientists think the earth is 4.5 billion years old. And the book starts at the beginning, with life in the seas, then moving on to land.

S: So the book is organized historically. There are about twelve pages about early life and then we begin learning about dinosaurs. Every now and then we look at different geographies. What happens in the end?

C: In the end the dinosaurs went extinct. But scientists don’t really know exactly why and how. It is kind of sad.

S: Yes, it is indeed sad Caramel, but if dinosaurs had not gone extinct, there might not be much room on this planet for us rabbits.

C: Good point! We might not have enough food to go all around for all of us. Still I like to learn about dinosaurs. They are very interesting!

S: Indeed!

Caramel loves reading and looking at the many many pictures in The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles.
Caramel loves reading and looking at the many many pictures in The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles.

Caramel reviews Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne

Caramel recently started reading the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. After reading the first two books and their accompanying Fact Tracker books, he decided that he really really likes the second Fact Tracker book on knights and castles that is meant to accompany Magic Tree House #2: The Knight at Dawn. Below he shares his thoughts on why. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions when needed.

Caramel reviews Knights and Castles by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne.

Sprinkles: What do you want to tell us about this book Caramel?

Caramel: It’s nice. There’s lots of pictures. And it has many many facts. The whole book is full of facts. I like that.

S: Yes, I noticed you like nonfiction a lot. You always make sure to share your favorite facts even in your reviews of fiction books. Why do you like nonfiction?

C: Then I know more about the world. And I like learning new things. My middle name should be Curious!

S: I like that! So what kind of facts did you learn from this book?

C: The knights lived in the Middle Ages.

S: Do you know when that was?

C: Not really.

S: Let us look at the book together!

C: 1300s? Ok, I’m reading from page 14:

“The Middle Ages began about 450 AD. They lasted for over 1000 years.”

That is a long time!

S: Yes it is.

Caramel is finding that he likes books with facts!

S: What other facts did you find interesting?

C: Let me look. The first castles! I’m reading on page 22:

“The first castles looked more like forts in the Old West than like castles in fairy tales. They were built out of wood. These castles were usually built on a mound of earth called a motte.”

S: Was that one of your favorite facts?

C: Yep. And I learned about tournaments. Then I was curious and wanted to learn more. So I saw a video from the History Channel that showed people fighting with lances today. It’s called jousting. There are men in full armor, on horses, and the horses have armor too. And the men have lances. A lance is a very long stick with a sharp end to poke your enemy with. But in a tournament, it is enough to push your enemy off their horse.

S: Would you want to be in a jousting tournament?

C: I’m a bunny! How would I carry a lance and ride a horse? I’m too small for that.

S: It also kind of looks violent, right?

C: Yes, but there are rules against actually hurting one another. And the horse. You cannot hit the other guy’s horse!

S: That sounds fair. So what else did you like about this book Caramel?

C: I like that the book is all about facts, but sometimes on the sides of the book, there is Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House books, and they tell us things.

S: Yes, I saw them on the margins too. What kinds of things do they say?

C: Annie for instance says at some point that it wasn’t fair that only boys could be knights. She’s right, of course!

S: Yes, that’s true. Girls couldn’t do many things back then.

C: But today girls can do so much more! They can do anything! The person who wrote the Magic Tree House books is a girl, for example!

S: And she does write really well, doesn’t she?

C: Yes, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.

Caramel really enjoyed Knights and Castles and is looking forward to reading more of the Fact Tracker books.